Friday, January 26, 2007

Six Weird Things About Me

Ann tagged me. Now it's my turn to tell six weird things about me.

1. I collect coconut monkeys. I love those things! I have also given them as wedding shower gifts. It is interesting to see the folks ooh and ahh over something that I know is really a gag gift. I have a few favorites, one with a red guitar, one with leather ears, and one that actually belongs to Ann. It came from the Philippines, and she saw the man carve it.

2. I love whoopie cushions. I also love remote control whoopie cushions. I always have. One of my favorite vacation memories is going to Gatlinburg with Becky, Lydia, Ann, and my mom, and sitting on a bench downtown blowing up and letting rip with a whoopie cushion. Another good memory from that same trip was taking the wc into a bathroom at a rest stop, going into a stall, and letting it rip. I enjoy watching people's reactions.

3. I gave my pastor "Snowman Poop" for Christmas one year. You've probably seen the stuff, miniature marshmallows in a sandwich bag with a note, "You've been naughty, so here's the scoop. All you get for Christmas is Snowman Poop." He took it to his family's Christmas gathering.

4. I have a dial-up internet connection. What's weird about that is I have a modem for the Bellsouth DSL, but am unable to figure out how to get it set up. I've had the modem since November.

5. I have a photograph of four ladies making a quilt framed on my bookcase in the living room. I don't know the ladies. They are dressed up with hats and all, and one, whose name is Anna May, is wearing her hat with a pair of slacks, a collared sweatshirt, and jogging shoes. She reminds me of my mother, who I believe would have done the same thing. The photograph came out of the Life section of our local newspaper. Just Tuesday, I saw another photograph that I would like to frame. It is of a boy, about ten years old, maybe taken in the 1920's. He looks like Buckwheat, all dressed up for church or something.

6. Black gospel music makes me cry. I think it goes back to my infancy, when my parents and grandparents used to sit in their yard on Sunday nights and listen to the music from the Black church near my grandparents' home.

And here's an extra one, just because you've been nice enough to read through the other six. Jewish music and the Yiddish language also make me cry. I have no idea why. I used to say it was because I was Jewish in a past life. Since Baptists don't believe in reincarnation, most folks just laugh at that. However, I do wonder sometimes.

Love to all, and God bless. And by the way, Everett, Lydia, Jules, tag--you're it!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


I was trying to think to see if there was anything new I wanted to blog about, but the thinking got too hard. I guess that's why I haven't blogged lately.

What's happened around here? I hear there are new babies on the way at my old place of employment. My friends Julie and Joyce are both expecting granddaughters this month. And then of course Tara is expecting this month--first girl in Jim's and her family! But then Tara isn't around here,I guess. I wish she were--we'd have to have a pink shower for her. Charlene let it drop last week that Brad and Mary are having another baby this spring--Ann, I know you will be interested in that.

I have now finished (well, no fringe on this one yet) three prayer shawls. One has gone to Mrs. Mac, one to Andrea, and I think this last one is going to Betty W. This was a completely different pattern than the other two, but it was a quick knit. I need to get that fringe on there. I believe I'm going to start making baby shrugs next. I watched them make one on Knitty Gritty the other day and thought, I can do that. So I went to the site for the instructions. The only instructions they had were for adult size. Of course Knitty is really big about making your own patterns, so I guess I'll just fool around until something like a shrug comes out. If that doesn't work, then maybe all these baby girls can grow as fast as Cora, who I hear rolled over this week.

David has a dentist's appointment tomorrow to fix a broken-beyond-repair tooth. They are going to remove what's left of the thing and put in an implant. This is his first implant--I hope it takes well. The stuff he has been through with the dentist this year is almost enough to make a person put off dental health care. Never even mind what he has done in the way of physical health--I don't want any part of that, either.

We had a good visit with Christopher James, also known as CJ, last week. He is a total delight. Even when he poked a hole in the bottom of his cup and flooded the Plum Tree, he was a sweet, charming little boy. He also introduced us to the fine game of building with china. Of course, we can't hold him completely to blame for that. It isn't his fault the extra dishes were there. He really liked David's "eyes" tricks and would giggle and squeal whenever David started cutting shines. I am so glad we had a chance to meet him during his baby-ness.

Enough of the odds and ends of daily life. Those of you who are getting out and doing things, start posting to your blog so you can entertain me! Love to all, and God bless.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Two great folks died this past week. One was around for over 90 years and did a lot of really good stuff. The other one, maybe 30 years or so, and not too much will be credited to his name. Anyway, I am going to miss both of them.

I met the first lady when I was a student at GC in the 60's and very early 70's. I had her for an "independent study" class in nutrition. In other words, she set apart an hour, two or three days a week, just to help me meet the requirements for certification in elementary ed. We would meet in her office, and she would go over assignments, etc. She really knew her stuff. Next, I encountered her as a friend's advisor. The friend was a home ec major and had to prepare a meal for guests as a part of a class. The friend, two other couples, this teacher, my husband and I, all enjoyed a meal together at the home ec house. After that, I knew that if I had any questions about food, I could ask her, and I did. I found out that she was a great seamstress, too, and she helped me out by putting buttons into a dress I was making for my daughter.

But where I knew this woman best was at church. For years, she was our church hostess and the chef for our family night dinners. Those dinners were truly fantastic. She served a full meal, salad, entree, at least two vegetables, hot homemade bread, and homemade desserts for $3.00 a head (and that was even in the last five years!). She cooked almost every bit of it herself. Not only was the food fantastic, she took extra time to decorate all the tables with fresh flowers. She also had theme meals for the holidays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day, President's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter. The two biggies, Thanksgiving and Christmas, she would have hot appetizers, cheese balls, raw veggies, punch for folks to enjoy while they were waiting for the meal to be served--you wouldn't believe it if you didn't see it.

She took great care of her regulars, too. For instance, she knew that the pastor didn't like raisins, so whenever she served her dressing with raisins, she kept out some just for him. Also, since my mom was allergic to fish, she would be sure that there were little ham biscuits for her while the rest of us ate salmon croquettes. And she would be sure that there were special sugarfree desserts for the regulars who were diabetic.

In addition to this gift of hospitality, and it was a gift for sure, she had one of the greatest spirits I ever came across. There was always a twinkle in her eye--maybe no smile on her face, but the twinkle was there. You could tell she enjoyed life and wanted to make the most of it, but on her terms.

Near the end of her life, she moved into an assisted living home here in town. We had friends who would regularly pick her up there to take her to church. One morning the couple arrived at the home to find that she had moved out the day before--she didn't tell anyone that she was moving. They later found that she had moved back to her home. I guess she got tired of institutional food!

I sent her a Christmas card, telling her how much we missed her on Wednesday nights at supper. She wrote back to tell me, "I keep hoping I can come back and cook one more supper." That really meant a lot to me, to know that she still had hope. God has her now, and I'm sure there are fresh flowers on the tables at the banquet feast.

The other fellow is not quite as well known. He was a student I had about ten or twelve years ago in my special ed class. He was autistic, in a day when autism wasn't getting the press that it gets now. He didn't speak much, he had really severe mood swings, and at times he was very difficult to work with. However, what I remember most about him was his sweet, sweet, smile. It was very hard to stay mad at him for long. I remember one day I was walking him down the hall to his speech class, and he reached up and touched my cheek. "What's that, Mrs.M?" he asked. "Feel like a boogie?" It was. I guess he thought he was sharing. Another memory: he would play and play a computer game in the room. When he got ten answers correct, there was some sort of onscreen reward. All day, my daughter thought he was saying, "Damn right, Mrs. M!" The actual statement, ten right.

Two other memories to share. His favorite book was In the Napping House. He just loved that book, about a granny who was taking a nap and joined by all sorts of critters (including a grandson) until the bed finally collapsed. He would just laugh and laugh when I read it to him. I suspect it reminded him of his own granny who took care of him sometimes, but I'll never know for sure. And then there were the trips to McDonald's. All the time I taught, I found that trips to McDonald's were great motivators for my kids, no matter what age or for what purpose. Occasionally this fellow would earn a trip for something or the other. He and I would have great fun over a hamburger, french fries and ice cream. He absolutely loved the big yellow centrifuge where pennies would spin around and around before they finally dropped into the bottom of the container. Give him a quarter's worth of pennies, and he was in heaven, where, I hope, he is now. I hope there is a great big centrifuge up there and all the pennies he could every want!

Treasure the folks in your life who make you smile. Watch for twinkling eyes, and don't get up tight over a boogie on your cheek! Love you, and God bless.